Saturday, December 06, 2008

Kansas Basketball

Today, I went to the University of Kansas basketball game against Jackson State at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas. For those who don't know, James Naismith, the father of basketball, invented basketball a few years before joining the University of Kansas as a physical education teacher and the first University of Kansas basketball coach in 1898. One of his players, Phog Allen also went on to coach the KU basketball team and became the 3rd winningest coach at the time of his retirement. While Allen was at KU, he coached legendary coaches Dean Smith and Adolph Rupp the number 1 and 2 winningest coaches prior to Bobby Knight passing Smith's record.

The Jayhawks won the game by a fairly large margin after Jackson State played them very close during the first half. When opposing players are shooting free throws, the students "wave the wheat" by holding their arms to one side then shifting them just as the player is about to shoot. They also roll the wheat. Each of these are intended to distract opposing players and I can definitely see how they would need to focus intently on the basket to keep it from distracting them.

I'm still trying to figure out exactly what a Jayhawk is and what "Rock chalk, Jayhawk" means. I gather it's something to the effect of "we wish you well in your endeavors to obliterate the opposition."

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